Counseling · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goal Digger · Goals · Housekeeping · Journaling · Living with Intention · Motivation · Networking · New Year · Paying It Forward · Sandy Hook · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized

Pause & Be Grateful

The last few months I have been researching gratitude and prayer journals because I knew my life had been:

Go Go GO

… and I wanted to slow it down. I’ll be the first to say I know I have a blessed life, so stopping and being grateful for the goodness around me is something I wanted to make a priority. I wasn’t looking for anything fancy, just a few pages where I could visit each day and jot down what I was most grateful for. The other thing I wanted to be more intentional about, was my relationship with God & taking a few moments each day to write out what I was praying for, focus on a verse that stood out to me and lastly, write out what I’d like God to help me learn/work on in my life.

Guys- I found the jackpot!!!!

These journals serve as both my person gratitude check and check in with God… & um, they’re GORG!!!! 😻

They’re perfect! I plan on using them both starting tomorrow morning as a way I want to start my day. Beginning each morning with a grateful heart and open conversation with God is something I know will start my day off on the right, positive note. If you’re looking to increase the happiness in your life, you can start by looking at all the blessings you already have!!

The Good Days Start With Gratitude Journal & My Prayer Journal are two great (and inexpensive!) ways to begin your daily gratitude journey! Do you already practice doing daily gratitude? If you don’t and you’ve been thinking about it, here’s a nice way to get started:

I think it’s so easy to fall into negative patterns and lead a life that feels pessimistic and like there’s a rain cloud constantly over your head. Sometimes I find myself going deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of negativity, self doubt and gossip. I believe that when you have a grateful heart, put God first and are open about your struggles/needs/imperfections, you can truly begin to see a change in yourself. This is my hope anyway, since this is going to be a practice I start today in search of that!

Don’t have a relationship with God (or any higher power)? That’s okay– if it’s for the simple fact that you don’t know where to start, I’d say this journal is a great beginning mark. I also downloaded This Bible App, because it’s free, offers daily verses and inspiration and sends you daily notifications to remind you it’s time to get your God Time in! ☑️ Honestly, it’s great.

I know we’re all on a journey to better ourselves (I’m sure that’s how you made your way to my page), so gratitude is where I want to focus next. It’s all a part of my wanting to Live Intentionally and form a life of gratitude, reflection, growth and living my best life.

I’d love to hear if you use a gratitude journal or practice gratitude in your own way in the comments! I’ll be sure to write a follow up on how the journaling is going…

To being grateful for (and aware of!) life’s blessings,

Aurora ✨

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Counseling · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goals · Housekeeping · Living with Intention · Motivation · Networking · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized

Me… 10 Years Ago Vs Now #10YearChallenge

Happy Sunday friends! I went along with the other couple million on social media and completed the #10YearChallenge a few days ago. If you have been hiding under a rock don’t know what I’m talking about- the concept is simple: you find a photo of yourself from 10 years ago and one that is current, and you post the side by side views.

WOW

The intention of this challenge was to show how different we all look after 10 years. At 31 however, I found myself looking at the girl on the left, and thinking: “WOW, if I could talk to this girl, the things I would tell her about her life to come.”

So I posted this photo on My Instagram (Click to follow) and I wrote the caption:

What would I tell Aurora Boo 10 years ago if future me had a chance to speak to her? YOU LOOK AMAZING, STOP THINKING YOU AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH AND THAT YOU NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT. Oh, and THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE IS ON HIS WAY, HANG TIGHT GIRLFRIEND❤️ {& keep your signature picture pose- it’s gonna be a hit later down the road}! I can’t believe the #10YearChallenge just inspired my next blog post! See you all on Sunday! 😘

So here we are…

THINK about this, where were you 10 years ago and what did you think of yourself? Were you in school? Were you in a relationship? Did things feel awful? Did things feel perfect? Now I ask… how different does it look than you thought it would?

Did you think you’d be married? Did you think you’d have kids? No kids? Did you think you’d be advanced in your career? Or are you in a career you never thought you’d be in? Did you think you’d be retired already? My friends….

This is called, LIFE!… & growing up/ growing old

BUT!…. I have to laugh when I think back to myself at 21. Didn’t we all think we’d have kids in a few years and consider our 30’s being OLD? I certainly did. Never did I think that at 31 years old, I wouldn’t have at least 2-3 kids. Why did I think that? Because my parents had me and my siblings when my mom was in her 20’s… and we’re supposed to be following the footsteps of our parents, right? Man, I’m literally sitting her smirking thinking about what I thought life would be like and how it is.

I truly, wholeheartedly, love my life. Every aspect of it: the people in it, my marriage, my relationship with God, my career, my accomplishments, the life lessons (difficult and positive), and where my life is headed. It just looks so different than how the girl on the left thought it would look.

So, what would I tell the girl on the left at 21, that I know now at 31?

I would pat her on the back and tell her she’s doing a great job, even though sometimes she doesn’t feel good enough or that she’s on the right track. I would tell her that it’s okay to challenge people you love, even though you worry it’ll be perceived as disrespectful and that growing up comes with forming your own beliefs, non-negotiables and boundaries… but that kindness is imperative. I’d tell her that one day the people she’s challenging will actually appreciate her for that, and thank her for helping teach them a thing or two along the way. I’d tell her that it’s okay if you’re not 100% confident that your current relationship is the forever relationship, and that what you’re feeling in the relationship is valid, and should be heard. I’d tell her she can have more than one deep love in life and that her soul mate is out there. I’d also tell her that she’ll find him soon and to go with her gut. Lastly, I’d tell her it’s okay to say NO sometimes.

Things I would want to tell her, but I wouldn’t, because they gave her the best life experience and growth: Don’t take out more student loans than you need- future Aurora will thank you. Drop the friends that make you feel bad about yourself, or cause too much drama in your life- they’re using you for your energy, and this will eventually burn you out.

It’s amazing how this fun internet challenge really inspired me to think a little more inward. What I gained by looking back is something I will take with me looking forward: Things that are paining me now, or keep me up at night, will all iron themselves out over time, and stressing about them now, and feeling negative about them, won’t make them go away- they’ll just continue giving me stress and worry. So, looking into my next 10 years, I will try harder to shake the things that worry me, and instead focus on and LOVE the heck out of the things/people in my life that bring me joy.

Did you complete the 10 Year Challenge? If so, what would you tell yourself 10 years ago if you knew what you knew now? Would love to hear it in the comments!

Love,

Aurora ✨✨

Goals · Motivation · Uncategorized

Resolutions in Review: Six Months In!

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The picture above is a list of my New Years Resolutions that I framed exactly six months ago. Amazing. It’s hard to believe we’re already half way through 2013, and only six months away from Christmas and 2014! Where does the time go? I decided I wanted to reflect on this, when I looked at my list again last week, and realized I was accomplishing some of these things, and incorporating them into my life, while others, I haven’t kept up with, or tried to improve for myself.

1. Drink More Water. Ugh, this has been the hardest for me, because I haven’t made it a priority. Water is everywhere. I need to take my consumption more seriously, as it helps with your health, cleansing, skin etc. I’ve decided I’m going to bring a gallon (yes, and actual gallon), of water to work each day, and promise myself I’ll bring it all within the work day.

2. Spread Positivity and Upkeep My Website. YES. This website has been a godsend thus far in 2013, and helps me to feel more connected with all of you. THANK YOU for making this website a success and for spreading the Sparkle and positivity along with me.

3.Be Punctual. I’m getting there!!… So much better than 2012! I’m going to continue incorporating more time into my day to ensure I get to places on time. The biggest issue I find with this is allowing myself an appropriate time to sleep each night. I’m going to challenge myself to get more rest, so I’m not dragging as much in the early mornings.

4. Get More Organized (Plan!) This is something I work toward every. single. day. and I feel that it’s getting better with time. Planning, strategizing, organizing– all of this comes easy to many people, I’m not one of them. Haha, if you’re a planner, good for you!!!… I’m going to continue to work on this long after 2013 passes.

5. Be Yourself. This one means the most to me. It’s only two words, but it carries the most meaning. I can’t say that I lived a life where I wasn’t myself in the past, but I began to notice that too often, I was worrying about what others thought (too much) and would dim who I was or my personality, to yield to the needs/expressions of others.

I think #5 is something I’ve worked on through the creation of this site. The Weekly Sparkle is 100% my thoughts, feelings, topics, areas of interests and things I want to share with all of you and get your opinions, thoughts etc.

What do you do to become more in touch with yourself and who you are? I have more plans to better myself for the rest of 2013, which is why I’m glad to have visited my New Years Resolutions again and remind myself of the promises I made six months ago.

Are you keeping up with your Resolutions?! If so, congrats. It’s an incredible feeling to follow through on goals you set for yourself. If you’re struggling, it’s okay. You have six months left in 2013, which is plenty of time to make the improvements you were hoping for.

Happy New Year,

Aurora

Goals · Motivation · Uncategorized

Graduation, Success and Looking Ahead

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“When you grow up, you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”
– Steve Jobs

http://t.co/rsS3FmJtoE

I had the opportunity to watch this video a few days ago, and I knew it was something worth sharing. Steve Jobs is someone I have grown to admire over recent years, as it seemed like his influential and motivational speeches, comments, conversations etc came more to light before his passing. I lump the lessons I’ve learned from him with some of my other favorite, inspirational people, like Oprah, Ellen and classic go-to, Confucius.

Last weekend, I walked in my graduation from the University of Scranton where I received my Masters degree in Community Counseling and Mental Health. While I finished classes months ago, I knew I wanted to walk in the ceremony, as the sense of accomplishment and success hadn’t fully set in since completing my course work. This is probably how I stumbled across this video. Each year around graduation time, all of these videos, commencement speeches and books surface to inspire the grads as they move ahead in life. “Sky’s the limit,” “Oh the places you will go;” “Let your dreams and ambitions come true,” are all sayings and motivation we offer to those graduating in our lives to show them we believe in them and know they have the power to accomplish great things.

In hearing Steve talk in this segment, I’m inspired by the not-so-common approach he takes when looking at achievement and success in life. He says, “…life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.” I LOVE this. He’s right. The world we live in tells us what our successes can amount to and what is expected of us as we strive toward greatness.

I guess what I gather from this mainly, is that we are the ones who can define for ourselves just what greatness is. This is why I’ve begun my journey and created The Weekly Sparkle. This is what my site and definition of Sparkle is: become your best self in the way that YOU define it. Go against the grain. It is so easy to fall in line with what society tells us and expects of us. I am by no means saying we shouldn’t want a family, good career or to “stay in the lines.” I’m simply saying that the greatness within you can be one that the world has never seen; spinning a new way to influence others and add value to the world we live in.

My desire in life is to break the mold, be different, inspire others and leave the world a little bit brighter, just because I was here and impacted the lives of others. As I reached another great milestone in my life, I’m reflecting upon the amazing experiences I’ve had so far, where they can take me, and the blank pages ahead of me that are open for my interpretation and ability to make a change.

I want to continue to pass the Sparkle to all of you, and challenge you to do the same for those in our life. Go against the grain, and be bold.

Sparkle strong,

Aurora

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